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32 reviews in total 
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12 Rounds (2009)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This one's okay., 11 January 2010

In 2006, WWE made a movie called The Marine, starring then-champion John Cena as the titular Marine on a mission to save his girlfriend from criminals.

In 2009, WWE made a movie called 12 Rounds, starring former champion John Cena as a police officer on a mission to save his girlfriend from a vengeful criminal.

The statute of limitation on plot replication is apparently three years because both movies' plots sound eerily similar, even if it's executed differently in each film. This makes it difficult for me to not compare the two as a result. However, the fundamental difference I've noticed between 12 Rounds and The Marine is that 12 Rounds is just a tad better... or at least just a tad more enjoyable.

Sure, I could argue that anything would be an improvement over The Marine, a terribly mediocre action film. But much to my surprise, 12 Rounds is actually okay.

Some people have attributed the plot as being a poor man's iteration of Die Hard With A Vengeance. Since I haven't seen that movie, I can't really comment in that regard. However, the plot itself is a fairly paper-thin affair anyway and while the flow of the movie tends to be erratic, it's at least paced fairly well and it won't put you to sleep, which was certainly the case with The Marine.

Of course, the script is still below par - it IS a WWE Films production, after all - but for what it's worth, the cast makes the best of it and the acting is serviceable if not decent. If anything, it shows that John Cena really is a capable actor who could shine if given better material. While this isn't a whole lot better than what was given on to him during The Marine, it's at least a step in the right direction.

12 Rounds isn't necessarily a good movie; it's strictly an okay movie at best - a step up from The Marine, which is a downright mediocre movie. And while there might be better alternatives out there when it comes to seeking out an action flick, you certainly can't go wrong with 12 Rounds if you're looking for a quick fix of action. Out of all the WWE Films released thus far, this is one of the few that can actually be considered anything within the neighborhood of GOOD.

Let's just hope that when Cena does another picture, it doesn't involve him being on a mission to save his girlfriend from criminals.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Oh dear..., 23 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To sum up the Matrix trilogy in few words is easy for me: the first movie was kinda cool for the time, making way for all the wire-fu action sequences and slow-mo effects that many flicks would repeatedly make use of. The second movie was fairly poor quality and didn't make much sense - and the dancing sequence drove me nuts. But Matrix Revolutions is the enigma. On the one hand, it's not as bad as Reloaded, but on the other hand, it's devoid of purpose. It's just there.

The main problem is that Revolutions was made around the same time as Reloaded, which means it's almost as much of a mess as the second movie was. But then the movie is mostly fighting and special effects (no dancing sequences here like in Reloaded, so there's extra points right there). But then again, there was really no point to the fighting or the movie in general. Maybe there's something in the plot that didn't click with me, which is something that would be used as fodder for all the detractors, but if there's something that didn't click, then there's something wrong with the story that doesn't allow it to click. Perhaps if I paid more attention to the movie... perhaps if the movie had anything that would be worth the effort to pay any semblance of attention.

Revolutions isn't that bad of a movie if you take it in as a popcorn flick, but as a sci-fi epic or whatever it's supposed to be, it just doesn't work. Watch if you're a fan of the other Matrix flicks. Otherwise, avoid.

The Marine (2006)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Discommendation for An Unoriginal Action Movie, 23 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For the uninitiated, he Marine is the second movie production of WWE Films. It features then-WWE Champion John Cena as a former Marine named John Triton (real creative in making the protagonist's first name as the same as the actor's. I'm sure Tony Danza would approve) who must save his girlfriend from a bunch of criminals. From there, we get a second-rate action movie that seems to rip off every single action movie in the book until the inevitable conclusion. Somewhere along the line, I stopped caring and read a book, which was unfortunately far more entertaining and enlightening.

The good news is that The Marine is not the worst movie I have bore witness to; that (dis)honor belongs to the Halle Berry flick Catwoman. However, The Marine isn't a bad movie in the sense that it's so bad it's good. It's a bad movie in the sense that it's not really that interesting or even exciting. For every action movie cliché this movie churns out, you can probably think of thrice as many flicks that could pull off the same trick, but better. "Perty 'plosions" are nice and all, but mean nothing if there isn't a strong backstory or even a remotely interesting conflict to drive the action. The Marine has neither of these things and it ends up being a ho-hum action film with a generic plot line. Not even the T-1000 himself, Robert Patrick, could save this flick.

I rarely have a good thing to say about Cena because I'm not a fan of his wrestling work, but given some good material, he could possibly shoot out a couple good movies. Those movies aren't going to come from WWE Films, however. He has the talent and charisma to drive the movie, but the material he's given is absolute garbage.

If you're a fan of Cena, just stick with watching his matches and promos on RAW and avoid this movie. Trust me; you're better off watching his crappy matches than his crappy movie.

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Best left alone and forgotten, 23 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometime in 1998, Saban had acquired the rights to produce a brand-new Ninja Turtles live-action series. Naturally, being a fan of the TMNT back in the day, this obviously peaked my interest. So when I started watching the show... to say I was disappointed by the end result is an understatement. Some time later (more like recently), I got a chance to revisit the series.

First off, let's talk about some of the positives. They managed to re-create the Turtles' lair as it was last seen in the movies fairly well given the limited budget they threw in with this. There tends to be this darker atmosphere overall in terms of the sets and whatnot. And the Turtle suits, while not the greatest piece of puppetry and whatnot, were functional and seemed pretty sturdy for most of the action stuff that would follow in the series.

People tend to complain about getting rid of Shredder quickly and replacing him with these original villains who could have easily been used in a Power Rangers show. But you can only have Shredder get beat so many times before it gets boring and undermines his worth as a villain... and besides, most fans don't realize or don't remember or just plain ignore the fact that in the original comic, the Shredder was offed in the very first issue! Never mind the countless resurrections that would follow. So on a personal standpoint, I was sort of glad they got rid of Shredder because then the anticipation would build to the point where they would eventually bring him back in a later episode. I find that Shredder in small quantities work best because then his encounters with the Turtles are all the more memorable.

Unfortunately, they end up replacing him with these original villains who, as stated, seemed more fit for a Power Rangers show than a Ninja Turtles show. And with these new magic-wielding generics comes a new female magic-wielding turtle, the infamous Venus De Milo. I'll be honest; I never got comfortable with her. I'm not against the idea of a female turtle; I'm just against the idea of one who uses magic and thus sticks out like a sore sight among a clan of ninja turtles who seem somewhat out of their domain. I almost get the impression that this could have easily been the Venus De Milo show dealing with her make-believe enemies and the TMNT are just there to provide the star power (or whatever was left considering the timeframe this was released). Fortunately, they all share the spotlight together.

Next Mutation was canned after a season on the air and the creators were more than happy to ignore it. Given time and maybe another season, I really believe this live iteration of the TMNT could have been something and might have gotten a chance at greatness. But while the idea was sound, the execution was flawed (although there are a couple good episodes in this series). As it stands, Next Mutation is one of those oddities in Turtledom that is best left buried and forgotten.

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A hidden gem among the spandex, 23 March 2008

Some people would consider Lightspeed Rescue to be the weaker of the Power Rangers series. It's pretty understandable since it does many things differently from other PR shows, but after having re-watched most of the episodes recently, I found this to be one of the stronger series.

A new team of Power Rangers is commissioned by a Earth-based military organization to protect the city of Mariner Bay from a group of ancient demons looking to reclaim their home. This team of Ranger is comprised not of teenagers, but of young adults with past professions and public identities. It's a different dynamic and an interesting look at how a government-sanctioned Ranger team would function.

Everything about Lightspeed seems to fit. The characters are given ample amount of development and the acting is crisp enough that I actually care about what happens to these characters. The set pieces for the Lightspeed Aquabase are fairly good, even though they're too much like the previous series. The plot flows nicely and every episode seems to contribute something to the overall story... even the insignificant fillers.

Fans of PR shouldn't be disappointed with Lightspeed. It's almost on par with In Space, another PR series that is considered classic - however, Lightspeed can be viewed as a standalone and doesn't require the viewer to watch the older series. If you can catch the show on air, go ahead and give it a go.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fun little popcorn flick, 4 July 2007

I remember the hype that went behind this movie. A fairly Super Bowl commercial, a FOX special, a bunch of related shows or something... I don't remember the exact details, but I remember that there was a movement that was pushing this movie as a big deal.

So much hype back in the day...

Back when it was released in 1996-ish, I thought Independence Day was a fairly satisfying movie. It didn't have the most original plot in the world (aliens attempt to conquer Earth and it's up to the humans to repel them - where have we NOT seen that one before?), but it was still a thrill to see the special effects, thrilling aerial battles, and whatnot. Some ten odd years later, the movie has lost much of its luster, but not so much its fun element.

Those "exciting" special effects? They still serve a purpose and they're still okay, but nothing special. The plot is somewhat thin and the slow scenes are fairly slow enough to get you out of the mood. Even the tense moments seem predictable and it's not due to repeated viewings. Despite all this, it's still a fairly decent popcorn flick worth killing a night if you have nothing better to watch. It's not a sophisticated movie, it's not a masterpiece, it's just a fun little action flick with aliens and lots of explosions.

Independence Day is worth a look if you're looking for a quick fix of action movies, but anyone looking for high art should look elsewhere. Good messy fun.

59 out of 96 people found the following review useful:
One of the greatest comedies of all time... oh wait., 21 May 2006

The first official release of World Wrestling Entertainment's film division is a pretty basic horror/slasher movie called "See No Evil" starring Kane, one of their big men wrestlers known for having an intimidating presence, hard-hitting moves, and one of the most convoluted backstories in wrestling. And let's not pull any punches here; while this movie is promoted as the greatest horror movie of all time (mostly by WWE), it goes without saying that after having seen this movie, I can confirm it as one of the greatest comedies of all time.

"See No Evil" sees a bunch of juvenile delinquents sent to a hotel so they can clean up. Of course, a monstrous murderer (played by Kane) also happens to be living in this hotel and we all know where that goes. Without giving away too much of the movie plot, this film has all the semblance and structure of an early-1980s slasher flick with most of the clichés intact, but without any of the scares that those films accompany. And that's sort of the main problem with "See No Evil". It tries so many of the tricks implied by its predecessors in the genre that it comes off as predictable; veteran horror fans will easily recognize some of the gimmicks ahead of time and even those who have only seen a few flicks should tell what happens next. It's too generic to be scary.

The movie's gory, no doubt, but it's only there for the effect. The dark atmosphere instilled in the movie gives off that feel of terror initially, but as you get towards the end, it somehow feels out of place and gets tiresome quickly. The death scenes don't come off as gory and horrific as much as they do laughable, although some of them are pretty inventive.

And the acting in this movie is pretty bad too, as the main characters aren't developed enough for us to care when they eventually do get axed. Some can't even portray fear properly; they just scream and cry in a vain effort to emote. So when they die, it only adds to the comedy because you don't care enough about them that you simply consider them the equivalent of Starfleet Redshirts to the monster Kane.

As for Kane, he simply portrayed his movie character the same way he portrays his wrestling character, only he uses axes and hooks instead of hellfire and brimstone. There's no doubt in my mind that Kane can be a great fixture in the horror genre. He has the look and presence for it; he just needs better material (specifically a script that isn't written by someone who writes wrestling shows) to work with.

Now, despite what may seem like a harsh review, I actually enjoyed the film. It's one of those laughably bad movies that you can't help but sit down and enjoy. My main gripe with the film, again, is that it's simply an exercise in filming gory kills and doesn't have any frightening or shock moments. I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed because it was easy for me to laugh off some of what was supposed to be scary moments in the movie. If that happens because it was supposed to be that way, the movie would have been rated higher. But it didn't. It got laughs because it's a B-movie and it doesn't help that the director's previous experiences was porn flicks and music videos; not exactly overcomplicated things to direct anyway. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it tremendously.

If you don't mind a fun B-movie or funny horror film, I'd highly recommend "See No Evil." If you are a true enthusiast of the genre, I'd wait until the DVD comes out before checking it out. Everyone else should probably go watch something else.

Infested (2002)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Yeah, it's crap. But it's entertaining crap., 2 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILER WARNING!!! SPOILER WARNING!!! DO NOT READ IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THE MOVIE, ALTHOUGH I WOULD ADVISE AGAINST IT!!! Infested is one of those really atrociously bad movies you can't help but enjoy for all the wrong reasons. It's about a group of friends seeing each other after one of their friends died and they are suddenly attacked and possessed by killer flies who eat their internal organs. Confused? Well, you should be. I have no idea what went on.

It's an indy flick, so naturally the quality isn't going to be that great. But this isn't even a good flick. The acting is unbelievable (as in NOT believable), the CG flies look fake, along with the exploding house, and the plot is so thin that it makes the early episodes of Power Rangers play out like Shakespeare in comparison.

END SPOILER WARNING! END SPOILER WARNING! That having been said, this is a fairly humorous movie even if it wasn't intent on being one. There's some gore, but not that much. There's some "horror" and frightful moments, but this movie couldn't scare a 3-year old, much less an adult audience.

If you enjoy bad movies, this one's for you. If you don't, skip this one.

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable, 6 September 2004

Contrary to what many claim, Mario's first initial cartoon appearance was NOT the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Rather, it was in an obscure Donkey Kong cartoon that aired as part of Saturday Supercade during the early-1980s, before Nintendo rose into prominence. You wouldn't have noticed, because in that cartoon, Mario was a generic guy who pursued the big dumb ape. But that's irrelevant, because before 85, Mario wasn't a big deal. After '85, he practically salvaged the video gaming industry and got a cartoon out of it.

Every Mario cartoon had the same basic plot; evil King Koopa (Bowser, although he never goes by that name in the cartoon) wrecks havoc in various worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom and it's up to Mario, faithful brother Luigi, loyal Mushroom Retainer Toad, and the Princess (when she isn't kidnapped) to spoil his nefarious plans. Rinse, lather, and repeat.

Odd thing was that this had more in common with Super Mario Bros. 2 (Mario USA to Japanese folk - the less said, the better) than it did the original game, but I'm not complaining.

The way I see it, the cartoon (and even the Captain Lou Albano live skits) was what truly defined Mario as an Italian plumber from Brooklyn who enjoyed eating pasta rather than this fat plumber who ate mushrooms, something that the games depicted. The cartoon stayed true to the original games, as opposed to the later movie which was a bastardization of what was good and wholesome. The stories are rather cheesy, crude, and cheap parodies of certain series and movies, but who cares? They were fun and back then, that's all you really needed.

The animation was decent for its time. You have some minor technical errors here and there (sometimes Mario would be speaking with Luigi's voice, or his hat would be the wrong color), but these things happens in all the old cartoons (see the old Ninja Turtles as a good example - yes, you know who you are!) The voices were pretty good; nothing great, but alright nonetheless. Characterizations were pretty good (even though it's based off a video game and you actually had no frame of reference as far as characterization goes).

Of course, the cartoon is only part of the show. Bookending the cartoon are live-action skits featuring Captain Lou as Mario and this other guy as Luigi, in their Brooklyn basement, where they have to deal with these guest stars' problems. I'm not just talking nameless hacks looking for a quick buck, but actual stars whom were popular at the time. Like the cartoons, the skits were cheesy but fun. And it's always a welcome sight to see Captain Lou make an idiot out of himself by doing the Mario. (Now, if the REAL Mario were to have done that in any of the modern Mario games, it would have actually prompted me to buy a modern Nintendo system.)

Every Friday, they'd throw in a little Zelda cartoon. Back then, when I first saw them, I never touched the original game, but still enjoyed them nonetheless... although these days, hearing Link whine "Excuse Me, Princess" every fifth minute irritates me to no end.

After some time, the Super Mario Bros. Super Show changed its format and became Club Mario. While you had the same IL' good cartoons, instead of live Mario and Luigi, you had two 'hip' guys in a messed-up apartment with lots of stuff that boggles the mind. Every once in a while, they have actual 'storylines' such as one guy's evil twin trying to take over the show. Sometimes, I wish good IL' Koopa showed up during the Mario Bros' off-day and took over the show so he could cancel it, because even back then, it was bad.

Even today, it's still a good wholesome cartoon that's good for a few laughs and maybe can be genuinely enjoyed. I think you can find them on Yahoo somewhere, who airs the shows online. Check 'em out if you have the chance.

Catwoman (2004)
Oh dear god..., 23 July 2004

Might as well get it off my chest. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I had seen Catwoman. When someone joked about it being the next great horror story, he was half-right. It was horrifying, but not great.

Even years after the movie's release, I still can't buy Halle Berry in the Catwoman role. I have a hard time believing that she was the absolute best woman for the job when there were probably tons of more qualified actresses (regardless of ethnicity) that could have fit the role just fine. I think the decision to cast Berry has more to do with her popularity at the time than anything else. And you know what? She's a fine actress in her own right - won Oscars for a reason - but this Catwoman role is beneath her. And the hapless script gives her little to do to make the character remotely likable.

So they changed the back story of the character; instead of thief Selina Kyle, we get graphic artist Patience Phillips. You know what? I'm cool with that. It doesn't really bother me. But while the original Catwoman character is supposed to be somewhat of an anti-hero and has somewhat of an interesting history and character, this Catwoman is more of a prostitute than anything else, the flimsy costume (ugh) contributing to that image more than anything else. Nothing she does in this movie gives me a reason to care about her plight because she comes off as really unlikable. In fact, none of the characters seem interesting. They're just there.

As for the rest of the movie... it's terrible. The acting is below par, the visuals are dark and murky, and the action is pretty underwhelming. The plot is horrible girl power cliché garbage involving toxic cosmetics and... I'm entirely convinced that there is no script despite writers being credited. I can only assume they wrote this on a couple napkins and someone thought this was a good idea to turn into a movie.

Overall, Catwoman is one of those movies best left in the gutter. There's nothing remotely redeeming about this film; it's just terrible, terrible stuff. So terrible that it will kill your cat and strip it of its remaining lives at the same time. Avoid this movie at all costs.

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